NEW MILFORD — With more than three miles already behind them in the New Milford Moonlight Run 5k road race, Ethiopians Kumse Megersa and Abiyot Endale were still running side by side and matching each other stride for stride.
They had separated themselves from the rest of the pack, and the only thing that stood between them and the finish line was about a hundred yards of wet grass. It was just a matter of who could get there the quickest.
As they ran behind the Young’s Field tennis courts and turned down the final stretch, Megersa shifted into high gear and took the lead for good. His winning time of 14 minutes, 15 seconds, was three seconds faster than Endale’s.
“We’ve run in a lot of races together and I know he as a very good kick in the last 100 meters, 200 meters,” Endale said.
Not far behind them was former Danbury High and Syracuse University cross country and track and field star Brady Becker, who finished sixth in 15:20.
“I ran with them for the first mile or so,” Becker said. “I thought they would go out a little faster, so I was kind of surprised. They started pulling away after that, and that kind of snapped me back into reality.”